Most people don’t think about their chimney unless they are using their fireplace. But did you realize that your furnace or boiler also use chimneys? According to the US Fire Administration (a division of FEMA), heating fires were the second leading cause of house fires from 2002 to 2004, and confined heating fires (fires which are confined to a chimney or flue or were the result of fuel burner or boiler malfunction) accounted for 86% of heating fires in the US.
This happens because, when a chimney cracks or fails, smoke, carbon monoxide, creosote, and other products of combustion can seep through your chimney and leak into your home, which presents a hazard to your home’s occupants. Damaged or improperly constructed chimneys can also let water into the interior of a home, which over time can create water damage to the walls and framing of the house. In the worst case scenario, a damaged chimney can even cause a chimney fire or even a house fire. The bottom line it that it is incredibly important to keep your fireplace, furnace, boiler and chimney in safe working order.
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So how do you keep your chimney safe? Here are 3 Things You Can Do:
1.Schedule an NFPA Level I, Level II, or Level III chimney safety inspection. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading authority on fire, electrical and building safety, recommends that all chimneys in the United States be inspected annually to make sure they are in safe operating condition. Find a licensed reputable chimney service in your area who is an NFPA member who can conduct the chimney safety inspection and generate a report of any problems that are found.